This past Saturday night, because Z had never seen this (albeit cheesy) classic, we watched the old Miracle on 34th St. Our dining room table also looks like Santa’s workshop and our bell has been ringing more than usual with package deliveries. Certain drawers are off-limits and plans are being made for our first ever Upper West Side Holiday Party. And we’re not the only ones getting in on the holiday action — department stores have their Christmas windows up and the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center is fast approaching.
Admittedly, we are getting ahead of ourselves — so this Sunday and Monday we took a step back and reminded ourselves that, actually, Thanksgiving is still just on the horizon. We are super excited to head out to Seattle on Wednesday night to spend the holiday with Z’s family. His sister is preparing a Thanksgiving feast complete with green bean casserole, whipped sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauces, stuffing, turkey, and gravy. We can’t help too much because our bags are already stuffed with gifts, but we offered to bring a vegetarian stuffing side since stovetop doesn’t offer a vegetarian variety.
Since we’ve never made a stuffing from scratch, we made three versions of this in the past 48 hours and have fallen in love with the one below. We wanted to post it quickly in case any of you might be inspired to try it this Turkey Day.
Vegetarian Challah Stuffing
Based loosely on Joan Nathan’s recipe, minus the whole stuffing it in Cornish Hens part.
(Serves 4-6 as a small side)
12 1/2 in. slices of challah
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
7 medium white mushrooms
1 1/2 celery stalks
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 heaping tsp of garlic powder
2 tbsp butter
30 leaves of Sage
Dice the shallots and the celery into 1/4 inch cubes. Then slice the mushrooms into 1/4 in. slices and then again into thirds. Pick the 30 leaves of Sage.
Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the mushrooms and let them soften, but not darken, about 3 minutes. Add the sage at the same time. We pulled the sage out once it got fully softened. Add the shallots and let them soften for another 3 minutes. Add the celery and incorporate. Add the salt. Cook for another 3 minutes and remove the sage.
Slice your challah into 12 1/2 inch slices and remove the crusts. Put the challah into a bowl and pour the veggie broth over it. Let it soak for a minute, squeeze most of the veggie broth out and then cut into 1/2 in pieces.
Add the second tbsp of butter, the paprika and the garlic powder. Then add the challah. Turn the heat up to medium high. Let everything brown, but keep it moist. Serve hot.
Since we’ve been trying out different incantations of this recipe, we’ve had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it never seemed out of place. If you are still looking for a Thanksgiving side that will satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike this is relatively easy and ridiculously delicious.